Since 2017, students enrolled in the University of Maine School of Law Refugee and Human Rights Clinic have traveled to Laredo, Texas to participate in a program, sponsored and run by the law firm Jones Day in collaboration with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, to provide representation for women in the Laredo Detention Center. Alongside Jones Day attorneys, the students conduct client intake interviews, draft memos detailing each woman’s experiences and any potential legal claims, and assist in the representation of clients. This article will provide a glimpse into the experiences of three Maine Law student attorneys during their time in Laredo, Texas, and will survey issues in the contemporary immigration landscape: first, an overview of the political climate surrounding the immigration debate, current immigration trends, and statistical figures; second, stories providing context for why people are seeking to immigrate to the U.S., and the persecution and challenges faced by immigrant women; third, the shortage of representation for immigrants, whether detained or non-detained; and finally, one of the most challenging and poignant issues encountered by student attorneys participating in the Laredo Project—the separation of immigrant mothers from their children.

First Page